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by Alastair Symondson Thursday 29 November 2018
Did you know that cricketers are three times more likely to suffer from gambling addiction than an average young man?
These competitive, wealthy youngsters are long seen as cash machines for casinos and bookmakers, and a study conducted for the Professional Players’ Federation back in 2014 has proved the idea right. Based on confidential questionnaires from nearly 350 cricketers and footballers, the research revealed that 6.1% of professional sportsmen would be classified as problem gamblers, while only 1.9% of young men in the general population would be classed as having gambling issues.
That means almost 200 current professional cricketers and football players in the UK have serious gambling problems, and 440 others are “at risk.”
The study also reflected that one in 10 of these athletes gambled to “fit in.” One in four claimed that their teammates encouraged them to gamble, and almost one in three revealed that the association between their teams and the gaming industry “encouraged” them to gamble.
Paul Matthews, editor at Casinostoplay.com, comments: "When it comes to team sponsorships, gambling brands have taken the place of beer brands, but some overseas brands are not doing enough to protect gambling addicts. The UK Gambling Commission is tightening the rules and regulations around online gambling and betting, and hopefully, we can create a safer and more fun environment for everyone. At Casinostoplay.com, we care a lot about responsible gaming and player-friendly mechanisms, such as Casumo's lock withdrawal feature, heavily impact our scores.
Ex-Cricketer Patrick Foster was Thinking About Ending his Life
Patrick Foster was one of the cricketers suffering from problem gambling. Born and raised in Kenya, he received education in Northamptonshire before realising his dream of becoming a professional cricketer at Northants. He continued to captain Durham University MCCU.
After his cricketing career ended, Foster went into teaching and remained in the education sector for the last seven years. He was responsible for the cricket at two prestigious independent schools.
Nevertheless, the lack of intensity of sports in his life has created a vacuum that eventually drove Foster into gambling addiction. Over the past ten years, the former cricketer accumulated hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of debt, which will take him over a decade to pay off. His gambling problems not only cost him money but also his job, relationships and nearly his life. Foster mentioned in his memoir that he thought about ending his life by taking tablets or crashing his car.
Fortunately, sense prevailed and Foster decided to text his brother. Now the man is going through a treatment programme and is ready to tell his story in schools and cricket clubs across the UK.
Gambling is almost an integral part of our culture. Three-quarters of the British adult population gambled last year, and betting sponsorships have saved many sports from struggling. However, looking at the result of the 2014 study and Patrick Foster’s story, it is undeniable that British sports in the UK have to reevaluate their relationship with gambling.
©Cricket World 2018